For now, let's forget about any Obama connection and just delve into this question of whether Ayers has atoned for his crimes. And let's not forget to include Ayers' wife and partner in terrorism, Bernadine Dohrn. We'll go chronologically, to see how the thinking of this American couple has developed.
Here is Bernadine in 1969, when, per David Horowitz in his book The Professors, she has this to say (emphasis mine):
At a 1969 "War Council in Flint, Michigan, Dohrn gave her most memorable and notorious speech to her followers. Holding her fingers in what became the Weatherman "fork salute", she said of the bloody murders recently commited by the Manson Family in which the pregnant actress Sharon Tate and a Folgers coffee heiress and several other inhabitants of a Benedict Canyon mansion were brutally stabbed to death: "Dig it! First they killed those pigs, then they ate dinner in the same room with them. They even shoved a fork into the victim's stomach! Wild!" The victim of the fork attack was Sharon Tate. The "War Council" ended with a formal declaration of war against "AmeriKKKa," always spelled with three K's.
As documented on her Wikipedia page, her husband has said she was being ironic. But about this, Horowitz says:
"In 1980 I taped interviews with thirty members of the Weather Underground who were present at the Flint War Council, including most of its leadership. Not one of them thought Dohrn was anything but deadly serious".
In 1970, per the New York Times, Ayers was said to sum up the Weatherman [terrorist group] philosophy as:
"Kill all the rich people. Break up their cars and apartments. Bring the revolution home, kill your parents, that's where it's really at."
Ayers now says that was "a joke". Around the time he made that joke, he was involved in bombing the NY City Police Headquarters, the Capital, the Pentagon, and around a dozen other locations.
Funny stuff. Can't imagine why his statement would be taken seriously.
But that was a long time ago, for both of them. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt and see what they had to say as mature adults.
Here is what Ayers and his charming wife had to say to Connie Chung in 1998...a time when the planning for 9/11 was probably underway by some other terrorists:
For the video-phobic, a transcript:
Connie Chung: "A lot of people out there are probably saying, 'I would love to hear them say we were young, we were idealistic, we were foolish and we were probably stupid; we made mistakes and we're sorry about it. We're grown up now."
Bill Ayers: "I would say we were young, we were idealistic, we were romantic, we were foolish, we made mistakes, and I would do..."
Bernadine Dohrn: "And we'd do it again. I wish that we'd done more. I wish we'd been more militant. I wish a lot of things. But taken as a whole, we were so lucky to be born into that moment in history."
Aren't they such a cute couple?
A couple of years later, Bill Ayers did that interview in the New York Times, which happened to run on the morning of 9/11/2001, which relates the following:
"I don't regret setting bombs,'' Bill Ayers said. ''I feel we didn't do enough."
Would he do it all again?
"I don't want to discount the possibility," he said.
But hey, 1998 and 2001 were a long time ago. Maybe one of them has grown up now?
Here Bernadine is a year ago, November 30, 2007:
"My experience traveling the last ten years has been that the majority of people who are activists have stayed the course in a way, in a variety of ways, devoted to overthrowing everything hateful about this government and corporate structure that we live in; capitalism itself, herself, himself, and determined to try to keep open and figure out how to move on...
We who are, as we used to say, in the belly of the beast, it again means not that it's the only purveyor of violence in the world, but that we have an extraordinary special responsibility, not necessarily the most enviable one, of how to act here, inside the heart of the monster."
Maybe one day she and her husband will finally get their way, and find a way to overthrow capitalism and kill the beast, the monster, that is America.
HT: Hot Air and iperceive...